Merge & Al's Excellent Adventures

5 min read

The Cu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

In November 2023, the MS Westerdam called at the port of Phu My, Vietnam (for Ho Chi Minh City), and I (Merge) was very excited….

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8 min read

Kota Kinabalu – Home of head-hunters and spirit worshippers

There are three countries that make up the island of Borneo. The northwest one-third of the island is Malaysia’s Sabah province. The southeast two-thirds is…

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7 min read

Puerto Princesa – Palawan at its best

As I (Merge) continued my travels in the Philippines on the MS Westerdam, I visited Puerto Princesa in the southwest for a couple of days. …

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7 min read

Manila’s native son – Dr. Jose Rizal

Not just a medical doctor, but also a writer, artist and nationalist, Dr. Jose Rizal was pivotal in the Philippine struggle for independence from Spanish…

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6 min read

Hong Kong revisited

I (Merge) am fortunate to have visited Hong Kong many times.  In fact, Al and I were last there in 2015 when we first spent…

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3 min read

A beach day in Boracay, Philippines

Boracay, located in the central Philippines, is a small island known for its striking natural beauty, stunning beaches and vibrant tourist industry.  I (Merge) got…

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5 min read

Kaohsiung, Taiwan – I barely scratched the surface!

During my travels on the MS Westerdam in November, I (Merge) stopped for one day in the city of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, the country’s second-largest city. …

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5 min read

Taipei via the port of Keelung – animals and architecture!

In early November, I (Merge) visited Taiwan on the MS Westerdam.  Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, is an island nation in East…

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6 min read

Monkey merriment in Ishigaki

Ishigaki, like Naha, is located in the Okinawa Prefecture, but it is on an island further south, and over 400 km away (which is about…

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6 min read

Living to 100 in Okinawa

Naha is the capital of Okinawa Prefecture, the tropical island group south of mainland Japan.  I was told by some Okinawans that they consider their…

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2 min read

Does the egg salad sandwich at 7-Eleven Japan live up to the hype?

The short answer is yes.  I (Merge) have now been in Japan for 18 days, and I have not yet tried the (in)famous egg salad…

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